About Tom Hanks
By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor
Born on July 9, 1956 in Concord California, Tom Hanks is one of
the gifted Hollywood stars with immense acting talent and
perfection. Tom did not have the happiest of childhoods, as his
parents were divorced when he was only 5 years old.
Tom was third of four children born to Amos and Janet Hanks. His
parents were avant-gardes in the development of marriage dissolution
law in California. He moved around with his father changing schools
and changing stepmothers. By the age of 10, he’d had three mothers,
five grammar schools and ten houses.
After finally settling down in Oakland California, Tom began
taking part in high school plays. He continued to act in plays while
attending California State University. He left the university to
pursue his acting career.
Hanks went to the city of opportunities, New York. He met and
married actress/producer Samantha Lewes on January 24, 1978. The
marriage lasted nearly nine years before divorcing on March 19,
1987. Tom Hank’s first break as an actor came in a low budget movie
called “He Knows You’re Alone” in 1980 where he was reportedly paid
just $800 for the movie.
After few months he moved to Los Angeles and co-starred in the TV
Sitcom “Bosom Buddies” where he portrayed a man forced to dress as a
woman in order to stay at a women’s only hotel. The show didn’t
touch cord with the viewers and was discontinued after only two
He also worked in TV Series like “Taxi” and “Family Ties”. His
acting career remained silent until 1984 when he got a big break in
a Disney Film’s comedy called “Splash” which was about a mermaid.
The movie proved to be a box office hit and the audience liked the
charm and comic timing of the actor. Tom Hanks was reportedly paid
$70,000 for this movie.
Hanks didn’t carry the success that he got after “Splash” for too
long. He appeared in many comedies which went unnoticed until he
starred in “Big” in 1988 where he gave a powerful performance
portraying the role of a child in a grown up man’s body for which he
also won a Oscar nomination. He became darling to the audience’s
hearts and that is the reason why they ignored the flop movie
“Bonfire of the Vanities” in 1990 and looked forward to his upcoming
He once again made a comeback with the movie “Penny Marshall’s A
League of Their Own” in 1992. The success of this movie fetched him
a role in another comedy called “Sleepless in Seattle” in 1993,
which was a huge hit at the box office. And "The Money Pit" was
hilarious, but watching "Turner and Hootch" may produce a tear or
two. He also portrayed the role of a homosexual in the 1993 movie
“Philadelphia” for which he won an Oscar for best actor. He won an
Oscar for best actor again the next year for the movie “Forrest
Gump” in 1994 achieving a rare double, only the second time in the
history of the academy awards.
Hanks had a wonderful run with movies like “Apollo 13″ in 1995,
“Toy Story” in 1995 and “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998. Hank's other
movies include “Toy Story 2″ in 1999, “Cast Away” in 2000 for which
he again won an Oscar nomination, and controversial “The Da Vinci
Code” in 2006.
Tom Hanks is a family man married to actress Rita Wilson who he met
on the sets of the movie “Volunteers” in 1985.
Being a most likeable star of his generation, Tom Hanks is a
throwback to the days when James Stewart and Gary Cooper lorded it
over Hollywood. Whether he’s playing a 35-year-old kid, a simpleton
from Alabama, a sullen soldier, a mobster hitman or even a lawyer
suffering from AIDS, people react well to him – he possesses an
all-too-rare nice-guy charm.
He’s willing to put that charm to the test, too. In Cast Away,
for well over an hour, we saw nothing but Hanks – no pretty love
interest, no wisecracking sidekick, not even a comedy dog. And, such
is the weight Hanks carries with a worldwide audience, such is the
skill he has developed over two decades plying his trade, he pulled
it off. Cast Away was a huge hit, his 11th in nine years.
And more was to come. Only Tom Cruise can match him as the
biggest box-office draw of them all.
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